Backup admin tools for Linux.

Backup admin tools for Linux.

Post by Nitin Mul » Fri, 30 Apr 1999 04:00:00



Hi all,

My typical backup opernations will involve backing up a fileserver
(12GB), web/mail server (2GB), and database server (Informix SE, 5 GB).
All three servers are on redhat 5.2 and I want to back them all through
NFS at one place. Occassionally, I may have to backup some windows
machines on the network. I've samba running on the fileserver. I've an
Exabyte mammoth tape drive with AdvanSys Ultra wide SCSI card.

I'm evaluating Arkeia and BRU as my potential backup admin tool but
don't know how they compare (feel free to add other tools if you think
they work great for a simliar setup). My impression is that Arkeia has a
nice GUI (which I don't care) but is buggy. It also doesn't support
backing up NFS shares (i.e. Server pull). It means I must install their
client on all my servers that I want to back up. Its rather
inconvenient. Its another important shortcoming is that it doesn't
perform any validation. I believe BRU handles all of this ie. backing up
NFS volumes and data validation and so it looks like a good choice to
me. Are there any issues specific to BRU and RedHat 5.2 (glibc etc)? Is
the BRU RPM in the RedHat 5.2 CDROM a professional or personal version?
Whats the difference? Do I have to buy a professional copy for my backup
operations? Any other issues in installation?

TIA,
Nitin.

 
 
 

Backup admin tools for Linux.

Post by Greg Ercolan » Sat, 01 May 1999 04:00:00



> Hi all,

> My typical backup opernations will involve backing up a fileserver
> (12GB), web/mail server (2GB), and database server (Informix SE, 5 GB).
> All three servers are on redhat 5.2 and I want to back them all through
> NFS at one place. Occassionally, I may have to backup some windows
> machines on the network. I've samba running on the fileserver. I've an
> Exabyte mammoth tape drive with AdvanSys Ultra wide SCSI card.

        I have a similar situation where I use a linux machine
        with a 14 tape Quantum DLT tape robot to do daily incremental
        backups of both unix machines via NFS, and and NT machines
        via samba.

        In my case, two of the disk servers are 70GB raids, both
        hovering at 90% full. One is an NT, one linux.
        And a few other unix machines, a mixture of SGIs and linux.

        It sounds like you don't mind 'rolling your own' backup script,
        so you might want to investigate my technique.

        I use gnutar to backup the NFS volumes, and samba smbclient(1)'s
        tar abilities to get the NT server. This way all the data is
        backed up using tar archives.

        The gnutar command line is basically:

            nice tar -c                                 \
                -v                                      \
                -f /dev/nst0                            \
                --same-order                            \
                --new-volume-script ./next-tape         \
                --label ${tapename}_${magazine_name}    \
                --multi-volume                          \
                --one-file-system                       \
                --listed-incremental ./snapshot_${tapename}_${magazine_name} \
                $dirs >& $error_log

        ..and the smbclient command is (basically):

            nice smbclient //ntserver/files     \
                $backup_passwd                  \
                -U $backup_user                 \
                -W $our_workgroup               \
                -TbcS 20 /dev/nst0 ./next-tape $dirs >& $error_log

        Note: You won't see the smbclient 'S' flag in the man page;
        I hacked that into smbclient so that I could tell it to run
        my './next-tape' script to load the next tape when the end of
        a tape is encountered. I need to publish the diff(1)s I made
        so that other people can use that. I love open source ;)

        But it doesn't sound like you have a tape robot to worry about,
        so that's probably a non issue for you.

        Also note: I found that gnutar has a subtle bug with
        incrementals, where after a full backup is made, files that
        are *renamed* are not caught in the incrementals. In our case,
        this was a negligable enough problem, so we ignore it, but
        anxiously await a fix from the gnu maintainers (I reported it
        in fall 98).

        My backups script has alot of *around the above commands
        to make sure the directories are mounted, the tape is properly
        positioned relative to the last time the script was run, keeping
        track of which magazine/tape number, etc. Simple admin-y stuff.

        If you want to roll your own, I can say the above has been working
        for me the last 3 or 4 months now. And yes, we've had to do a few
        restores, including a complete raid recovery 8^O which actually
        worked, thank god.

Quote:> [..] BRU [..]

        No opinion on BRU, sorry.

        Hope the recommendations above help.

--

   /\_/\
   |o,o|
 \/    )
----mm---------------------------------------------------------------------
Greg Ercolano                    UNIX NightOwl / Systems Programmer & Admin

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

1. Which backup tool to backup huge filesystems to tape?

Hi,

after reading this group through it looked for me like amanda would
be the favoured tool, I installed it and it actually looks quite
sympatic (not too overloaded, understandable...), BUT: from
everything I read and tried out it seems uncapable of handling
filesystems whose backup is larger than the available tape size.

I have two RAIDs with 0.5 and 1 TB of data, currently only the 0.5 TB are
full but this will change soon (currently I backup to the 1TB RAID, but
this is not satisfying, especialy because we had a near-bad crash due to a
failure in the air conditioning, so I'm searching for something more
static :). We've also got a Tandberg SuperDLT with a per-tape capacity
of about 110GB, so it should be capable of doing the job to currently
5 tapes, which is OK. The RAID is connected to the fileserver, the tape
to a seperate box (both running RedHat Linux, 7.0 in the moment)

So what I'm looking for is a reliable backup program (from this point I
liked amanda because of the usage of standard formats like tar, I don't
want to use dumpfs like tools as I need only parts being backupped and
want to be able to work on the fs during the backup process) capable of
using my tapes optimal. Any good/bad experiences? It should also be
capable of backing up over the network, and possibly also backup some
windows and macintosh workstations, but I could mount these using samba.

What I've tried so far:
- homegrown tar solution with split option. Works. Drawback: no sophisticated
tape management (I'd for example like to do incremental backups, appending
them to existing tapes, so the tapes are used about equally) which I don't
want to re-invent once again, no good way for software compression (using
the z option in tar compresses the whole archive as one stream which I
think could bring me into trouble when one tape fails. Without compression
I should be able to recover at least the undamaged date).

- amanda: almost useless for me. The proposed solutions for the "tape too
small" problem I read so far were:
 - buy larger drive (1 TB? haha)
 - do full backup outside amanda using tar and just the increments using
   amanda (not much better than doing everything with tar, besides this
   it could well be that over 110 GB change on one day)
 - instead of backing up /raid backup /raid/smallerdir1, /raid/smallerdir2
   and so on. Unmanageable for my needed capacities and wastes a lot of
   tape space because no tape is used full.

- arkeia: the best I found so far, but I read of bad experiences with
restores from damaged tapes, problems after the arekeia installation
got lost, random crashes and such things. Never happend to me, but I
also didn't have the impression of a very reliable program (almost no
real error checking on various config files). But my experiences are
over 1.5 years old, did it improve? At least it can split a backup
to several tapes :)

My next candidate is BRU, I'll download the trial version tomorrow.
Any opinions on it? Any hints for other tools?


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